1236 Dealing with Disappearing Surface Data: The Migration to BUFR and the Discontinuation of Text SYNOP and Buoy Reports

Wednesday, 25 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Daniel Tyndall, NRL, Monterey, CA; and P. M. Pauley, C. Atkinson, B. Sorenson, J. M. Reeves, C. McGregor, R. Pauley, and G. Hoisington

Handout (9.0 MB)

Meteorological observations are distributed world-wide to environmental prediction centers in real time through the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Global Telecommunications System (GTS). While the GTS has undergone infrastructure modernization over the years, much of the data formatting for radiosonde and surface observations has not changed—until now. The WMO has mandated the migration from Traditional Alphanumeric Codes (TAC; examples include the TEMP code used for radiosonde data and the SYNOP code used for surface land data) to Binary Universal Form for the Representation of meteorological data (BUFR) format. The migration from the 70 year old TAC format to the newer BUFR format has presented many challenges; several environmental prediction centers have found problems in the metadata, meteorological data, and formatting resulting from poor encoding and decoding algorithms. Correcting these issues is extremely important as an increasing number of nations are only disseminating meteorological observations in BUFR format. This presentation highlights current issues associated with the BUFR migration for surface land and buoy observations and how they have been addressed in the Navy’s data assimilation systems.
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